VICTORY IN THE NAME OF THE EMPEROR!
So I finally got my first battle over and won. Played against Dartingdejima and his White Minotaurs (Iron Hands) with my Crimson Fists (Imperial Fists) his list was centered around a Land Raider Crusader and a Stormraven. He had a full strength squad of assault marines, and three full strength squads of tacticals with no transport. A rifleman dread (twin, twin-linked ACs) and a stalker. His HQs were a librarian buried in a tac squad and a captain lumped in with the assaults.
My list was a full strength tac squad in a rhino, 6 scouts with sniper rifles and camo cloaks, a Land Raider Crusader with Assault Termies and a Librarian in Terminator Armor. A 5 man sternguard squad with a captain (badly equipped) were riding in a TL Lascannon razorback. A 6 man missile launcher tac squad provided another scoring unit and some added firepower. Finally an AC/LC predator added some anti-vehicle support on the cheap and a Stormtalon with skystrike missiles gave me a nice flyer hunter.
Terrain was two buildings on opposite sides near the center of the field, both ruined. A shallow lake with an objective in it, some smaller ruins with an objective to my deployment areas building’s left, and forests in the four corners, his back right (my left) had an objective, his main building had an objective The last objective was in a big crater/ruin in no-mans land directly in front of my small ruins/objective complex. The mission was Big Guns Never Tire, making my Predator, and Crusader scoring units, and his Storm Raven, Stalker, and Land Raider Crusader scoring units.
My opponent threw his tac squads in a long line, one on each objective, one opposite the lake, his LRC opposite the ruins objective and his stalker to his left of the big building in his zone. The dread was on the top floor of the ruin, his assault squad was in reserve in his Storm Raven.
I deployed my Rhino/Tac Squad between the two small ruins, the scouts on one objective, the half squad in the center in the ruins, the Crusader/Assault Termies next to the big building opposite the lake/objective. The Razorback/Sternguard squad hugged up on it, and the Predator lurked in the forest to my far right. The Storm talon of course was in reserve.
My opponent set up and had first turn, he made the most of it even with night fighting in effect. His Crusader lunged forward, smacking fire into the rhino, nearly wrecking it, leaving the hulk for his dreadnought to shatter. The rest of his fire claimed a stray scout. My first turn the Predator did some damage to the tac squad that was the only target it could see, while the Razorback lunged up and dinged the Stalker.
Turn 2 was much more interesting. His Stormraven showed up, zooming in and hooking from his back corner towards my razorback. Massed fire from his army wrecked the razorback, spilling out the sternguard, and chipped a point off my Crusader.
On my turn I got revenge and big time, my Crusader lunged towards his, then promptly got stuck in the lake. The Termies lunged out anyway and “raced” towards his Crusader. Mine promptly one-shotted it with the multi-melta. The Predator opened up on his stalker, ripping off its main gun, my terminators idled in the middle of the field, and the scouts raced up to claim the center objective, while the tac squad dropped out of the rhino secured my baseline objective.
His turn 3 the Stormraven dropped into a hover, dropping its cargo of assault troops, the desultory firefight on my left staggered on, his troops unable to do much against my scouts in heavy cover, and mine not able to overcome the marines heavy armor despite some great accuracy. The other side of the battlefield was much friendlier. His assault marines charged into my sternguard and got stuck. Captain dueling captain in a slap-fest, and his assault marines not nearly as effective as they could have been against my sternguard, who gamely struck back managing to cause a few wounds. My crusader and predator continued to hammer at the Stormraven, immobilizing it. My Termies charged into his tac squad, the librarians engaging in a truly embarrassing slap fight which would end up with a whopping 1 wound caused in the course of the game. Finally my stormtalon showed up and strafed his tac squad on my left holding his corner objective.
Turn 4 continued with his tac squads long range fire being almost completely ineffective, his Stormraven launched a long range missile strike, doing light damage to my stormtalon. His dread attempted to play Anti Air but missed its attacks, and his assault marines chopped down my sternguard while his captain did in mine. My Crusader and Predator finished off his Stormraven, my stormtalon raced back to his line for Linebreaker and to shoot at his dread, while my Librarian flailed ineffectively at his, and the terminators ate the last of the tac marines for lunch.
The game ended after only four turns with two objective held by each side. the final objective was unclaimed. I had destroyed two of his heavy support choices and lost none of my own, putting me up 2 points. He had killed my warlord and scored first blood on my Rhino, evening things up, meaning the last turn dash by my Storm Talon to score linebreaker decided the game by one point.
I had some pretty good luck one-shotting the Crusader, some mediocre luck taking the rest of the game to destroy the far more lightly armored and vulnerable Stormraven, I goofed up and left my termies to soak up some incredibly stupid fire for a turn but still got them into melee where the librarian managed to get them tied up for the rest of the game. Balancing that was my sternguard tying up his assault troopers, keeping him from getting them into my deployment zone and tying the game, or even winning it by wrecking my predator with a melta bomb.
My opponent game me two big opportunities. He raced his assault squad into my sternguard, rather than chasing victory points, resulting in my holding out for a four-turn win (turn 5 he almost certainly would have tied, and probably won the battle) He gave me a free shot at his Stormraven by dropping it to hover right in the middle of my big guns, which as it turned out did not tire. The sternguard and my crusader truly outperformed themselves, the one doing damage every turn (as you would expect from such a behemoth) and the sternguard holding out just long enough to grant me the win. I made some mistakes too, I didn’t use my assault termies very well, and they need something that can win challenges in a hurry so the blender boys can get on to hacking down the enemy. The transports needed to be hidden and protected until they could be moved to a critical point, but that wasn’t a horrendous mistake, and most importantly I was lucky EARLY, when it allowed me to reduce the number of shots he got by the largest amount possible.
I also forgot my camera. Yeesh.